The confession he had promised was the one painful incident of
this time. He consulted the old prince, and with his sanction
gave Kitty his diary, in which there was written the confession
that tortured him. He had written this diary at the time with a
view to his future wife. Two things caused him anguish: his lack
of purity and his lack of faith. His confession of unbelief
passed unnoticed. She was religious, had never doubted the
truths of religion, but his external unbelief did not affect her
in the least. Through love she knew all his soul, and in his
soul she saw what she wanted, and that such a state of soul
should be called unbelieving was to her a matter of no account.
The other confession set her weeping bitterly.
Levin, not without an inner struggle, handed her his diary. He
knew that between him and her there could not be, and should not
be, secrets, and so he had decided that so it must be. But he
had not realized what an effect it would have on her, he had not
put himself in her place. It was only when the same evening he
came to their house before the theater, went into her room and
saw her tear-stained, pitiful, sweet face, miserable with
suffering he had caused and nothing could undo, he felt the abyss
that separated his shameful past from her dovelike purity, and
was appalled at what he had done.
"Take them, take these dreadful books!" she said, pushing away
the notebooks lying before her on the table. "Why did you give
them me? No, it was better anyway," she added, touched by his
despairing face. "But it's awful, awful!"
His head sank, and he was silent. He could say nothing.
"You can't forgive me," he whispered.
"Yes, I forgive you; but it's terrible!"
But his happiness was so immense that this confession did not
shatter it, it only added another shade to it. She forgave him;
but from that time more than ever he considered himself unworthy
of her, morally bowed down lower than ever before her, and prized
more highly than ever his undeserved happiness.